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course furnished with a clean napkin, which, after dinner, is never left on the table, but either thrown into your chair, or upon the floor, under the table.
We omit the details of the coffee, tea, conversation, and “whiskey-andwater at eleven o'clock," and follow Mr. Colman fairly into bed, where
Everything is always in the best order; a blazing fire, and a rushlight to burn all night, in a safe, so that no danger can come of it. Your windows and bedclothes are always closely drawn, your night-clothes hung by the fire to be aired, the boot-jack and slippers placed by the side of the bed, and spare blankets folded near you. A bell-rope is always within reach, and not unfrequently a worked nightcap, to be used if you choose it.
Then comes, for at least the twentieth time in these volumes, an account of the “pitcher of hot water” in the morning, the “ bright copper tea-kettle,” the “ham and eggs on the table," the “cold beef, cold fowl, cold everything on the sideboard ;” the “ letters by your plate," the “mail-bag," the "entry," the "arrangements for the day," the “greatcoat neatly folded," the “ hat neatly brushed,” the "gloves laid out upon your hat," and the “ umbrella in its place." In describing which, Mr. Colman is anxious that the partner of his bosom, for whose especial behoof this information was originally written, should not imagine that he is violating confidence.
Let us at once set his mind easy on this point. We are of opinion that he has only taken a laudable and humane view of a great social question. Mr. Colman passed nearly five years and a half in Europe, the greater part of it in the houses of the English nobility; his “mission" was to acquire a knowledge of the savoir vivre, and impart it to his countrymen for their use and edification. If he has not succeeded in his object, the fault cannot well be his, as we think we have shown by the extracts which we have given.
We could have adduced many more proofs of his painstaking endeavour to inoculate the New World with the manners of the Old ; by quoting, inter alia, from what took place at the seat of the Earl of
(the only anonymous nobleman in the book), where " the lady” wore crimson velvet" one day, “white muslin, a red sash, and a crimson turban,” on another, and “a splendid silk dress and a circlet of pearls,” on a third ; and also by showing how at Woburn he found " a tea-kettle of hot-water, and a tub of cold,” in his bed-room ; how “ the usher in the hall” had the appearance of a gentleman” in “ black shorts," and how this gentlemanly man showed him into the drawing-room, where the Duke (of Bedford) met him, and where he met “a very large party of élégantes." But the reason we have already given compels us to pause, and we therefore bid Mr. Colman farewell as heartily as any of his numerous noble entertainers; more heartily perhaps--for we, at all events, are very sorry to part with him. In doing so we have one request to make, which is, that instead of the grave work promised in his preface, he make a round of visits in the United States, and inform us faithfully whether the boot-jack, the clothesbrush, the pitcher of hot water, the worked night cap, and the soap and towel, have yet found their way into the dressing-rooms of the smartest people in creation. Until we are assured of this fact by so competent an authority as Mr. Colman has shown himself to be, we must consider his mission to Europe as still unaccomplished.
THE AUTHORS OF THE “REJECTED ADDRESSES."
The last of the " Adelphi” is no more—the last of the brothers who first rendered their writings popular in the “ Rejected Addresses.” Both were clever men and piquant writers, but Horace Smith was something beyond this. He possessed talents of a wider scope than James, who preceded him to the grave in 1839 : his views were more extended; he was more intellectually accomplished, had seen much more of the world, and thought deeper. James was a wit, an agreeable companion, possessed of a fine vein of humour, but circumscribed in the extent of his information, and, as a natural consequence, more concentrated in himself. James selected his subjects for the most part within the circle in which he moved and continued to move through life. A happy point well made, it was his delight to repeat at the dinner-table or in the evening party. His jokes, and excellent they were, thrown off among convivial friends -in short, society, cheerfulness, and its accompaniments-constituted the summum of his life's pleasures. His frame was not active ; his bachelor habits and dinings-out rendered him a subject for the gout, to which disorder he ultimately fell a victim. From his office in Austin Friars to his residence in the Strand, constituted the major part of his journeyings. Horace, on the contrary, was of an active make. A year or two after we first knew him he visited Italy; and returning for some time made France his residence. We first saw James at his office in Austin Friars, nearly thirty years ago. He looked as serious as the parchments and papers surrounding him—for he was a solicitor by profession, and transacted the business of the Board of Ordnance. He seemed in this situation as little of a wit as can well be imagined. A joke took place on this visit, often subsequently repeated. There were two Smiths on the same side of the court, and we had very naturally knocked at the door of the first we came to. On entering his office we mentioned our mistake: “Aye,” said James Smith, “ I am James the first; he must abdicate; I reigned here before he came.
James was a well-looking man, but having a little of that stiffness of bearing which often attaches to a life of uniformity, with comparatively circumscribed habits. He was a constant and keen observer of city manners, and the foibles of many of the citizens he made the subject of harmless ridicule. We say harmless, for there was never the smallest portion of ill-nature in his satirical touches. He smote the folly, but spared the man ; a mode much more effectual in the
of reformation, than that severity of censure which awakens the resistance of self-love. His pieces, collected and published by his brother whom we have just Jost, fully exhibit this view of his nature. A prevalent foible, a trivial display of vanity, a trait of self-indulgence, an epicurean inclination, or any little peculiarity, being the subject, he generally handled it as briefly as possible, and most probably worked the whole point out in his mind before he committed it to paper. It may be questioned if anything he ever wrote cost him more than one sitting. The closing line or two, or the last stanza, wound up what he called “ his moral.” There was much less of liberality of feeling about him than about his brother Horace,
It is difficult to say which of the two was the most witty in the social hour. Dependent upon momentary, often upon an involuntary disposition to cheerfulness at the moment, all wits are unequal in brilliancy at times. Both brothers may be characterised rather as possessors of a high talent for humour, than of that sparkling wit which characterised Ilook. Sometimes, with all his wonderful readiness, it was hit or miss with Hook, who aimed at notoriety, no matter how acquired. The Smiths were both graver men, and would have thought to run a joke too near to a failure was akin to one. We have known Horace Smith indignant at Hook's jesting not only ill, but out of place, in his wild manner.
James Smith wanted the cordial spirit of his brother; there was, we fancied, little warmth of heart about him. He seemed to mingle somewhat of his professional character in social intercourse. On this account we surmise that James will be much sooner forgotten by his friends than Horace. The duration of the living remembrance in these cases is proportionate to the previous reciprocity of action. Both brothers were delightful companions. Many an hour of mental depression have we felt relieved by their society. "The humour and gladiatorial displays of wit that occurred in their company were always gentlemanly, generous in temper, unimpeachably moral, and never the splenetic outpouring of ill-natured feeling.
Horace, or Horatio as he always subscribed himself, was not only the most accomplished, but the most genial spirit of the two. He was as much attached to the society of literary men who made no pretension to be wits, and to solid and serious reading, as to the gay and light. His range of acquirement was considerable, and at one time he dabbled a little in metaphysics, but fortunately escaped from their maze without bewilderment. He began his literary career at the desk of a merchant ; and became, as is pretty well known, a favourite of Richard Cumberland, and his coadjutor in a work that turned out a failure, at the early age of twenty-three. In after-life, his literary labour and his city business went hand-in-hand. Before he relinquished business, we met him posting westwards one day, about three p.M.
“Where are you going so fast, Smith ?”
“ Who would not go fast to Paradise (Paradise-row, Fulham)? I am going to sin, like our first parents."
“ How? there are no apples to pluck at Fulham, yet ?”
“No; but there is ink to spill, though—a worse sin, perhaps. I have promised L- something, I cannot tell what. Who the deuce can hit
upon anything new, when half the world is racking its brains to do the same ?"
This is thirty years ago, and now the utterer of that remark is within the precincts of the tomb ; while the intervening time saw no diminution of his regard for intellectual pleasures, nor, with much to flatter his talents in the way of his literary labours, any decrease of that modest feeling in regard to his own writings, which is one of the strongest attestations of merit. In this respect he differed from his brother, who had, or always impressed the minds of others that he had, a full sense of the merit of his own compositions.
“I must unaffectedly declare,” said Horace Smith, " that no one has a humbler opinion of my attempts than myself.”
We fully credit his sincerity, notwithstanding we are well aware that authors may sometimes play off a little hypocrisy as well as other men. His modesty in this regard was a beautiful trait in a character rarely met with in the world, for such his undoubtedly was.
The “Rejected Addresses” was a happy publication, exceedingly welltimed. Unfortunately, several of the characters whose styles are imitated there have passed into obscurity, and the keenness of the satire cannot now always be understood. The stolidity of Fitzgerald, for example, rendered so much more amusing by his own unconsciousness of it, both as to his voice and recitations at the Literary Fund dinners, cannot be comprehended by the present generation ; yet Fitzgerald's was among the most happy of the imitations, and, if we recollect aright, was Horace Smith's. The diminution of interest upon this ground must increase as time fleets away; a result inseparable from writing upon subjects of a temporary character.
Horace Smith realised a sufficient sum to satisfy his own moderate wishes, and determined, in despite of the reproaches of his city friends, to seize the moment for retiring while independence was within his grasp. “ The hope of future gain,” he observed, "might lead him to risk what he had secured." We think this occurred about 1820, or a year later. When the crash of 1825 happened, he was able to turn the tables upon those who had thus reproached him. “ Where are those now who called me a fool for retiring, when I had the independence that suited my wishes ? Who was right ?-I pity them.” This contentedness, and
regard of money as the means rather than the end, was a distinguishing trait in his character.
Shelley and Horace Smith were intimate friends. He always spoke with high regard both of that lofty poet and his writings. He did not, however, applaud the mistaken theories of that enthusiastic genius in his youth ; theories which Shelley himself subsequently modified. “Though Shelley is my particular friend,” said Smith," I regret the imprudence of his publications on more points than one; but as I know him to possess the most exalted virtues, and find in others, who also promulgate the most startling theories, the most amiable traits, I learn to be tolerant towards abstract speculations, which, not exercising any baneful influence on their authors' lives, are still less likely to corrupt others. Truth is great, and will prevail; that is my motto: and I would therefore leave everything unshackled, for what is true stands, and what is false ought to fall, whatever the consequences.
These are certainly the doctrines of one accustomed to think, and to place the result of every contest between truth and falsehood upon an incontrovertible basis. The foregoing remark originated in the way
of reply, after Smith had been charged in a monthly periodical, at that time remarkable for its illiberality, with being a contemplated contributor to the publication of the Liberal," then about to be commenced by Byron and others. Smith had visited Italy, we believe, just before, and was then resident at Versailles. He knew nothing whatever of that joint undertaking. On telling him of this, he replied, “ I should never contribute a line were I asked, which I assure you I never have been.”
Horace Smith had a great dislike to that brainless ostentation, which rules in England now in a degree perhaps greater than when he was struck
by the difference of foreign countries in this respect. Abroad, a man required you to regard himself, not his servants or liveries.
“ A man here,” said he, “with 4001. a year keeps a horse and a cabriolet, which in England would be sneered at; but he keeps them to answer a purpose-the purpose of conveying him to bis friends, and giving him air, pleasure, and variety; all which an Englishman forgoes if he cannot do it in an expensive style and manner, mounting a lackey behind bedaubed with gold lace. Pride, purse-pride, is the besetting sin of England ; and, like most other sins, brings its own punishment, by converting existence into a struggle, and environing it with gloom and despondency.'
The mode of thinking of most individuals, upon the commonest topics, is perhaps best judged by insulated opinions. We believe Horace Smith to have been one of the truest and honestest thinkers of his day, though he was not always inclined to be communicative of his ideas,-not that he was a deeper thinker than some others whose names are upon record, but, what is of much more importance, he thought justly. In rectitude of intention we do not believe he was surpassed by any contemporary. He had a true sense of what was due to the rule of conscience, and it guided him unerringly. He performed the kindest and most disinterested acts without the slightest ostentation. He was ever ready and zealous to perform good offices for any; and sometimes ran counter to his own impressions, and wrestled with his own judgment, when the question bore the aspect alone of benevolence and kindness. Before, as he used to phrase it, he gave up “worshipping mammon," and had no more than a moderate run of business, he volunteered, in conjunction with a friend, pay
off the debts of a literary man who had been disgracefully prosecuted by the ministry of that day; and accordingly paid down the moiety of 10001. for the purpose. Ile was, notwithstanding, a careful manager in monetary affairs, of inexpensive habits, great evenness of temper, cheerful, never boisterous, and with such a stock of useful philosophy as reconciled him in the order of his ideas to the good and evil of humanity in his existing position, as we feel certain it would have done equally in any position that might have been a trial to his nature. In this respect there seemed a great difference between the two brothers. James ever appeared to have his sympathies nearest home, and to share far less in the pleasures or pains of others. Not that he wanted good-nature, but that a certain disregard overcame him about all out of his beaten track. There was little of that heart-display about him, which so spontaneously appeared on all occasions when accident called it forth on the part of his brother.
The early success of Horace Smith's literary labours attached him to them for their own sake—a thing become rarer in the present day than in the past. It was by no means the same with James. While resident in France, Horace, in conjunction with one or two friends, projected the establishment of an English newspaper in Paris. The French government, self-denominated constitutional, according to its invariable practice of ruling by professions that its acts belied, could not openly deny the right to publish. As was the practice from Louis XVIII. to Louis Philippe, always arbitrary, it shullied out of the dilemma in which it was sometimes placed between counter-inclination and what the law sanctioned. Neither a negative nor an affirmative answer could Smith ever obtain. In this mode the application lay over, until his patience was fairly worn out,